Xavi Hernandez is placing plenty of value on his veteran stars.
Barcelona have improved marginally since Xavi’s arrival, yet to get going properly, though there were encouraging signs last night.
The Blaugrana took Real Madrid to extra-time, losing 3-2, but armed with the returning Ansu Fati and Pedri.
Both youngsters returned after months out, and the former even managed to find the net, scoring Barca’s second equaliser.
On the whole, Barca did look significantly better, and that is to be expected given the talent they have recovered.
But the Blaugrana may not have managed to get by without their senior stars.
Xavi has put plenty of emphasis on his older players, with Gerard Pique playing more than anyone else, as pointed out by Mundo Deportivo.
The veteran defender has not been substituted once by Xavi, starting every game aside from the Betis clash in which he returned from injury and the Copa del Rey clash with Linares Deportivo, when he was rested.
Beyond Pique, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have also been used regularly, with neither being substituted for anything other than injury.
It seems the veteran trio will play a big part under Xavi going forward, even with the young talent.